what is difference between Human Resource and Industrial Relation. What are the functions of these two.
From India, Thane
dear M.I.L.S,
Human resource is a person who deal all human capital of organization with the help of their skill and mind and industrial relation means you deal with all the person with the help of various labor law where employee and employer relationship come and all.

From India, Gurgaon

Whatever the name, both deal with and are concerned with the "human resource" at the disposal of the organization.

These names appear fancy names but in fact show significant and specific orientations of the function.

Where the major part of the function is located in the manufacturing establishment and where a large number of employees are blue collared, the strategy to deal with this collectivity has to be well thought out. Blue collared employees were, especially in the past less educated that the white collared employees, came mostly from rural background and were rather uninitiated in the ways of the formal world. The "industry" (machines, equipment, technology and concomitant hazards, trade skills etc. influenced the individual and collective behaviour in peculiar ways, especially in matters of trust & confidence, credibility, perceptions of being exploited, ability to deal with "superiors" to get problems resolved. One saw concentration of Trade Unions, Discipline management Issues, statutory compliance, collective bargaining etc, taking a substantive part of time and skills of those who looked after the human resource. In short Industrial Relations (IR) had to deal with a majority of "conflict prone issues for the industry.

On the other hand HR (as differentiated from IR in present days) deals with mostly non-conflict prone issues concerning human resource. Typically these include, Man-power planning, recruitment, selection, induction, probation, confirmation, performance appraisals, rewards and punishment (mostly as absence of rewards!), Training & Development, Promotions etc.are handled by the HR people.

As you can see there is fair difference in skills for both but you would do well to remember that there are common issues in both the groups. Its just that the prime work orientation is significantly different.

In past your "Personnel Officer/Manager" handled both emphasis area himself and competently anyway and its only changing times has evolved two "virtually" different functions. HR does not want to do IR work, if it can avoid and IR feel that they are great since they handle conflict prone areas!

Both deal with human beings for the same organization in any case! Ultimately the issue will depend upon the technology and culture of the organization!

Have you got your answers?



February 10, 2013


From India, Pune
Hi ,
Basically HR deals with Recruitment , selection , training & development , induction
Motivation , Manpower planning , Retention , Setting of KRA,KPA,KPI , Job Descriptions,
Payroll Processing , contract labour Etc and Etc .
Whereas IR deals basically with Union issues , Negotiations , Dispute resolutions ,
Statutory compliances , Canteen , Works committee etc .
In many manufacturing industries these both functions are clubed and taken care by
HR itself .
Rajeev Dixit

From India, Bangalore
HR is Human Resource and IR is Industrial Relations. As many learned friends have opined above, both ultimately deal with human resource only but the area of operation may be slightly different. IR is predominantly deal with working class or workers in a factory or manufacturing location but above IR is HR still which is a kind of umbrella set-up.
Best wishes

From India
HR means Human Resource which is an older concept. The new one is Human Restructuring, Reviewing, through an organisational development system. We stress on mainly PMS (performance management system) for complete transformation as per the requirement to meet the organisational goal. Key Role of HR is Recruitment, Training & Development, Competency Mapping etc.
IR deals with mainly Industrial Relations between employee & employer through a periphery of statutory law, union bargaining, welfare activities etc.

From India, Nagari
Remember this one liner thru out IR is taking a horse to water,HR is making him drink it, Regards
From India, Pune
Dear All;
IR is relations with groups of labour or all labour in one group. Labour relations are one to one relations with labour. This is concerned with right and duty. It is and its effects - good or bad - are long term. Here there is bargaining.
HR is not simply HR it is HRD or HRM. HRD is development. Make employees more and more suitable for the organisation. There is no end to it. HRM is management. Manage and do the best from whatever is available. In HRD there are no rights and duties. In HRM there are rules.
Until some years past the scenario was that we did not bother for humans because it was available plenty. Now there is dearth of trained persons and hence we bother about their development and management.
Vibhakar Ramtirthkar.

From India, Pune

As per my prediction you want to know the following:-

Initially HR was known as IR. Very earlier there was no existence of IR/HR and organization were very much in habit of exploiting there employees/workers so for the welfare of workers Trade Union came in existence but later on TU started black mailing to organization(s) because of there synergy or you may say they started doing "unionbaji". At that moment organization(s) felt requirement of such a body by which a middle way could be found by which all illegal issues could be brought under control and gradually could be eradicated. Then some organizations developed a body called Industrial Relationship (IR) which was supposed to negotiate between Union(s) & organization so basically they were making relationship between Organization & Unions. The main work of IR was to develop & implement policies & rules and regulations, laws by which the worker's exploitation & arbitrariness of TU could be avoided. Later on looking the benefit of this body Organization(s) & Government put more emphasis on it and it had been known as Personnel Department too. So initially it was only resolving the issues related to the Unions & Organizations and getting the work(s) done through workers, afterward development of technology and work pressure made all the old workers useless in that situation if organization retrench or lay off them then they had to face huge strike and sometimes they had to face strong arm with union(s). To avoid this situation company(s) decided to train their old workers and select very few specialists from outside. In this way training has been added as responsibility to the IR Department and thus IR or Personnel management changed as Human Resource Development department. Now as the responsibilities & accountability of this department increased, as sophistication came to it, this department has been divided into two bodies one is known as IR or Personnel which is supposed to get their work done through workers/employees, salary negotiation, attendance & time management, Labor laws, Policies, and many more legal issues related to firm and employee. The second one is known as Human Resource Development which is supposed to Perform Training & Development Programmes, Performance Appraisal Management,Employees engagement Activities, Recruitment & Selection and some more. Further combining the both department is known as Human Resource Management (HRM).

Well HR is nothing but all the employees & workers of an Organization and IR is the relation of organization with it's workers/employees, other industries, Unions, Committee, Government Bodies etc.

Hope I did enough to clear the topic. Please revert for any more clarification and we will learn more.

Thanks & Regards,

Abhay Kishore

From India, Delhi

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